Hello there! My name is Andrea Di Lorenzo and I’m a food photographer from Rome, Italy.
I’ve been working in the food industry since 2009, shooting and eating and drinking in so many restaurants and bars I can’t even remember them all.
Back in the days, food photography wasn’t a real idea: my personal background involved movie critiques and for a long period of my life I wanted to become a movie director. Then I switched to set photographer. Then to videogame translator (did it for real!). Then to food photographer.
So, being a food photographer is not just about shooting and eating beautiful dishes (well, yes, sometimes it is!) but it’s also portraying the Chef, shooting interiors and even making short videos.
It’s very specific in terms of the industry you’re working in but pretty wide in terms of the different kinds of photographs you have to produce.
Funny fact about my job: my first gig as a food photographer was for Il Pagliaccio restaurant in Rome, 2 Michelin Star.
Why funny? At the time I had literally no experience shooting food and no knowledge about Michelin stars, Chefs and whatever… I realized it was a very important restaurant just a couple of years later!
So, before speaking about gear specifically let me clarify something for you.
My job is never the same: during the years I struggled a lot trying to find my perfect gear set up. And you know what? I still haven’t found it!
Nowadays I have several setups that I use according to the kind of job I’m shooting: what I’m presenting you today is the BASIC “READY FOR EVERYTHING” – LIGHT SETUP, a kind of setup I work with when I don’t have a specific brief from the client and I have to produce a 360° reportage about a restaurant/bar/producer that includes food, portraits, backstage and interiors/exteriors.
I also have another setup that I call MAYBE TOO BASIC UBERLIGHT SETUP and it comes with just a camera, one lens, two clamps and two white PVC 30x30cms reflectors. But that is another story…
Canon Eos R – I’ve had a love story with Canon since the 5D Mark II and I’m always curious about the new bodies presented.
I was looking for a lighter camera (compared to my previous 5D Mark IV) and the Eos R comes out: new processor, new sensor, electronic viewfinder, some small issues but a very good camera that I use as my main one (I still have my Canon 5D Mark IV and Mark III as a backup).
At least 5 x Canon LP-E6N batteries – better safe than sorry!
Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L USM – Strong, beautifully crisp lens – it’s a must in my setups.
Canon EF 100mm Macro f2.8L IS USM – Another must, used for dish and drinks shots most of the time.
Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG OS HSM Art – Classic standard all-around zoom but with a nice built-in stabilization, not a big fan but still worth every penny I paid for it!
Profoto B10 Plus (2X) – 250Watt of power in a very small battery-powered light: versatile, powerful, light. It’s the perfect companion when I’m working on location. Also, it packs a LED continuous light that is very helpful when I want to mix location lighting and flash.
Profoto Air Remote – Ttl C – Classic Profoto Trigger
I have a huge amount of light modifiers but these are the ones I use the most, they give me a good array of solutions:
Profoto OCF Softbox 2×3’’
Profoto OCF 2’’ Octa
Profoto RFi Softbox 1,3×2’’
Profoto OCF and RFi Softbox Rings
Profoto Standard Zoom Reflector
Profoto OCF Snoot
Profoto OCF Grid Kit
I have several bags in my closet (more than my girlfriend, true story) which I choose accordingly to the amount of gear I need to bring with me. My most beloved one is a Lowepro Pro Runner 300 AW but I also have a nice PELI Air 1615, a must-have when flying around the globe.
Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 tripod with RC4 Head: strong, light, durable. It’s been with me for six years now and is still in great shape.
Hardware & Software
Apple Macbook Pro 15 2017, 2,9 GHz Intel Core i7 – My last Apple laptop (my first one was the uber loved PowerBook Titanium G4) which travels with me every time, covered in stickers.
Adobe Lightroom CC and Adobe Photoshop CC – My basic workflow involves these two bad guys – first import, selection, light retouch on LR and then specific retouch on PS.
UGREEN USB 3.0 Card Reader – Cheap card reader bought on Amazon.
Toshiba 1TB Hdd – I give city names to my Hdd (I started in 2012, much before the House of Paper Netflix series), this one is called ISTANBUL: I bring at least one of these for backing up my shootings.
Tether Tools USB-C to USB-C 4,6m Cable – When you try orange you never come back.
A bunch of SD and CF Memory Cards
Ibuprofene tablets – A lifesaver. Full stop.
Black Gaffer Tape – A lifesaver, part two. Full stop. (Funny fact: last time I used it was to fix my car bumper…)
Clamps – A lifesaver, part three.
During the years I learned that there’s no right gear setup: you will always miss something, or pack in excess. But there’s also something else: better be safe than sorry, pack a little more. And buy a trolley. Your back will thank you in a few years.